Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a comedian and one of the “Bros” at HeTexted.com. HeTexted is a site where girls can get advice on the texts they receive from guys. Every Thursday on Post Grad Problems Jared will answer one of the questions from his HeTexted mailbag. These are real questions from real girls visiting the site each day. If you have any of your own dating questions go to www.HeTexted.com and ask Jared or any of the other Bros that fit your particular situation.
Q. My boyfriend used to G-Chat me alllll the time. Like every two seconds. Then all of a sudden he claims he’s getting more responsibility and taking on more projects at work so he can’t be on G-Chat anymore. But then he tells me that his dad came by today to surprise him and they went for lunch. So how busy are you? Is cutting off G-Chat his way of pulling away from the relationship?
I wouldn’t judge someone you’re dating by their actions over G-Chat. The fact is, there’s so much about G-Chat that can drive you nuts. “Why didn’t he answer my question?” “How’d he go idle in the middle of our conversation?” “Why has he been typing for an hour but I only got a “Yup” back?” “John has “entered text” all day. Did he die?” Those thoughts are had by anyone (guy or girl) mixing dating and G-Chat and they all really don’t matter. You know why? Because he or she is at work. During work hours your “six-month-dinner-once-a-week-
Know this, never in the history of relationships have we ever been as connected to our significant others. The show Friends is so fascinating because all of the dating scenarios on the show happen today but without today’s technology. They have one-night stands, fix-ups, drunken nights, first dates, and long-term relationships but it’s all without email, texting, G-Chat, Tinder, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Craigslist. It’s like a Hitchcock episode where the premise is an alternate 2013 where “u up?” actually means “Are you awake?” The Friends plot that gets me is when one of the characters is dating a guy or girl who isn’t in the group. When Ross, Rachel, and the gang discuss the guy or girl there’s no conversations about “texting first” or “emoticon usage” and there’s never a scene of all the girls hunched over an Instagram account with loose privacy settings. And you know what? It all seems less stressful. The only real angst came from making that phone call for a next date (the words “phone call” and “date” in the same sentence make my balls shrink). I always wonder, is the Friends world with less communication better than the one we live in today? The truth is that it’s probably somewhere in between.
There’s such a thing as too much communication. If you’re not in a very serious relationship, like one heading towards marriage, then I’d stay away from G-Chat and maybe even take a day away from texting. There’s really only so much to talk about with someone. Think about it. You go on a date and you talk about your day and your week and the people you can’t stand during your day and week. If those things are happening in real time on G-Chat then what else is there? We all want instant gratification. That’s why G-Chat seems like a good idea. We get instant affirmations of our relationships with every back and forth. But it’s robbing us of the excitement of the unknown. The lead up to a date. The nerves, and the stories that make you think, “Oh John has to hear about this one.” G-Chat is like masturbating all day before sex. You’re kind of worn out. You’ve gone through these motions all day and you were a lot better at it in front of the computer. Pull away from G-Chat and you’ll find that the whole relationship is a lot better. You’ll have more to talk about, you’ll care more about the conversations, and you both might get raises. Then you can afford the Friends box set to watch together. Switch your status to invisible and watch how unimportant it becomes to you whether or not “(someone) is typing…”
Jared Freid is a comedian and HeTexted “Bro” based in NYC. You can ask him dating questions at HeTexted.com or find him on Twitter (@JTrain56) for weekly columns, podcasts, and videos.